9 Feb 2010

Coastal iwi unwilling to compromise over title

9:29 pm on 9 February 2010

Some coastal iwi say they are unwilling to compromise over title to the foreshore and seabed as debate on the issue intensifies.

The Foreshore and Seabed Act is expected to be repealed and discussions between the Government and a forum of iwi leaders are being held to find a replacement policy.

Coastal iwi, like Ngati Kahu in Northland, believe that iwi, hapu and whanau near the foreshore should hold the title to these areas.

Ngati Porou suggests that iwi with ties to the coast should negotiate individually with the Government.

However, Ngai Te Rangi in Tauranga cannot see the Government handing the foreshore and seabed title to Maori, but thinks the two parties will instead form a joint partnership.

Prime Minister John Key has not disclosed details about the proposal, but says the Government does guarantee public access to the foreshore and seabed.